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Your Technology Problems...SOLVED

MAY 9, 2012

Featured Content

What's New at Experts Exchange
From the SLO and beyond

Nata's Corner
Facebook, taxes and hotel WiFi

Special thanks from members

Editor's Choice Articles
Transient files and VBA Part 3

In Brief
Things you might have missed

Who did what through May 5

What's New at E-E

G+ EE and get Pi: huslayer won the Raspberry Pi that runs on Linux, requires that you attach your own keyboard, and hooks up to a TV, but costs you only about $25. He was selected from the people who added EE to their Google+ circles; the rest of you can have the other kind of pi.

Recent updates to EEv10: In case you hadn't noticed, IE9 no longer includes Experts Exchange on its compatibility list. Other patches of interest that have been released in the last couple of weeks:

  • We have clarified the instructions for publishing articles you have previously written for another site.
  • Anchors have been added to articles, so you'll now go directly to a comment.
  • The word wrapping problem in code snippets for IE7 users has been fixed. (Thanks, mbizup!)
  • We've made a few changes to the topic area landing pages to show more articles.
  • The auto-sharing was disabled for some topic areas of the site.
  • Some of the links in Tutorials weren't working, and now are.
  • A fix to the Neglected Questions system that sent the email alerts has been applied.

Limericks: We're not above borrowing ideas from the Lounge, which has a long and glorious history of limerick contensts, so we're giving away hats to the ten best limericks submitted between now and May 16. They have to be in the right format (if you're not sure, see DanRollins' masterful discussion on the subject), have to be posted as part of the blog, and you have to send out a tweet or post to your Facebook wall in order to win. We're not one of the judges, but our favorite at this writing:

(assuming Nata is pronounced Nayter)
A spunky EE girl named Nata
Was so pretty I tried hard to date her
But she said "As a fan...
You should know I'm a gran"
And I said that for grans I could cater.

Podcast: The always entertaining DrDamnit returns to our weekly podcast this week with an introduction to his new blog series on helping IT business owners attract new customers. You can listen to the podcast at our SoundCloud channel.

Expert profile: A new feature out of the good people who write the Experts Exchange blog is a series of profiles of the Experts who answer questions at EE. First up: Michel Plungjan, AKA mplungjan.

User group sponsorship: Over the years, Experts Exchange has sponsored the occasional user group meeting; now, you can get EE to help your user group by first taking a look at the short list of requirements and then filling out the application. EE will come up with up to $300 for your group, and will kick in six-month trial memberships for your group.

Free ink pixels: If you use Experts Exchange for your business, share your story with a photograph or video, and we'll put it up -- including a link to your company's website -- on our Business Stories page.

Certified, customized and cool: If you haven't grabbed one already, be sure to nab your very own certified Expert Badge and show off your skills on your personal blog or website. All the cool kids are doing it!


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There's a certain amount of angst that arises when someone sees an email that has the words "Member Comment Added" as the subject, but there really shouldn't be; it's the only way the Moderators, Topic Advisors and Page Editors have to contact a member directly and privately. So while it does get used as a gentle reminder (or maybe not so gentle) about some aspect of EE, it also gets used the way Topic Advisor alanhardisty did in a note to TBone2k:

The following comment is in relation to your comment posted in the following question: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Q_27689066.html#a37888336

I would like to thank you for posting such a well-crafted and considerate comment. It shows that you have clearly taken your time to read the question AND comment (by me) posted in the question fully before posting your comment and it also backs up and enhances the comment that I have posted. It also shows enormous respect for the comment that I have made, which sadly other Experts seldom do in their quest to build up their points total.

As a Zone Advisor, I am all too often picking up Experts on their posting style, deleting their comments because they simply repeat comments that have already been posted, proving that they haven't read the question and/or other Experts' comments and they don't actually add any value to the question in their vain attempt to simply join in the sharing of the question points.

As a result of reading your post, I felt compelled to add this comment to your profile as a shining example of how to post in a courteous and respectful way and I will, with your permission, refer to your comment when tackling other Experts who post discourteously or clearly are only there to pick up points by copying other Experts' ideas.

Well done. Thank you and keep it up. It would be a welcome change to see more Experts posting in a way similar to the way you posted in the above question. You have restored my faith that there are some good Experts out there in the community.

When it comes to Microsoft Visio, it's hard to get much by scott, who is a Microsoft MVP in the subject, but aikimark taught him a new trick in Kelvin4's question about importing data: "I plan to file the code away for future use because I've never tried to parse XML in VBA before and wouldn't have know how to start. This is part of what I love about EE -- learning new stuff while observing other experts in action!" Kelvin4 had some nice things to say as well:

This has been an excellent experience. The solution provides me with the functionality I requested, in an accessible way that gets me started with XML-Visio.

Tribute to 'aikimark', who took the trouble to qualify my requirements, and kept the question open to work up a very good solution. Also thanks to EE Administration - for input ... Both... Thanks for the extra info!

ccbon ran into one of Windows' blue screen messages, and leew came to the rescue: "THAT outrageously impressive little Swiss Army Knife just gave me back my computer, and for turning me on to it I give the points with great pleasure to LEEW and thanks so very much !!!!!! Wow that utility you recommended really smoked! Thanks for getting my computer back from the pits of the underworld."

Editor's Choice Articles

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Transient File Organization
By KoiGirl

Transient. Adjective. Defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary:

passing through or by a place with only a brief stay or sojourn

We all have them. Files coming and going, under construction, waiting for review or contributions; files to fax or email; files faxed or emailed to us. This article examines:

  1. Ways to Accumulate Transient Files
  2. Issues
  3. Simple Solution
  4. Jelly Beans and Folders
  5. Examples
  6. Automation
  7. Uploading
  8. Summary


Introduction to VBA: Part 3
By TechMommy

This article is part 3 of a 3-part series:
    Introduction to VBA: Part 1 went over the basics of the VBA language and development environment.
    Introduction to VBA: Part 2 took the VBA language to the next level.

This article, Introduction to VBA: Part 3 covers the more advanced topics not included in the previous articles including a discussion of the DoCmd object, built-in functions, practical applications, and more.

The DoCmd Object: Performing Macro Actions

The Access environment is rich with objects that have built-in properties and methods. By using VBA code, you can modify the properties and execute the methods. One of the objects available in Access is the DoCmd object, used to execute macro actions in Visual Basic procedures. The macro actions are executed as methods of the DoCmd object.


Nata's Corner

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Nata's PictureGoogleGo for it... go ahead and type "zerg rush" into the Google search field and then see how many 0s you can click on.

It shouldn't come as a big surprise to anyone that Facebook landed as the third item on c|net's list of Internet privacy snafus, which is one of the reasons I've cut way back on both the time I spend looking at it and the number of people I share any information with. But it turns out that even while the California legislature is about to make it illegal for employers to ask for potential employees' passwords (Maryland has already done so), one out of every four Facebook users in the US has come up with a much more efficient way of protecting their privacy: they lie. That's twice as many people who admitted to doing the same thing two years ago. If you're at all worried about your privacy, the New York Times has a great set of tips on how to hide your Internet activities from companies like Google and Facebook.

The other half does our taxes (which makes sense, since he's the one who makes most of the money that's being taxed, right? It's all his fault...), but I'm going to stick my neck out and say he's got nothing on Apple, which collects its income in Nevada and therefore saves millions of dollars in California state taxes, and billions world wide. It's really easy for people who have used federal and state tax laws to their advantage for decades to be generous to charities, and I'll even bet that the charities are probably better at managing money than governments, but still.

Regular readers know we travel a bit, and stay in hotels, especially those that offer free WiFi (so we can log into Experts Exchange, of course). One place where we're not likely to be staying anytime soon is a particular Courtyard by Marriott in New York City, where the local franchise owner has installed expensive hardware that injects ads it sells in place of those normally served up by websites. Marriott The Company says that it's the ISP's fault, but I'm not buying either.

There's a new top dog when it comes to spam. The United States has somehow managed to drop out of the top spot of "countries from where most spam comes", handing over the title to India. The good news is that world wide, spam is down about ten per cent from a year ago, but you wouldn't know it from my in-box. And while I'm on the subject of email, if you use Hotmail, you know all about your password being reset a couple of weeks ago.

Finally, this is downright scary. The FBI is pushing for new laws that will require companies like Google, Facebook and Yahoo to "build backdoors" so it can tap the electronic communications of US citizens that are suspected of being criminals or whatever.

In Brief

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But it doesn't come with unlimited texts: Microsoft is preparing to dip its toe in the murky waters of discounted equipment with two year contracts. Redmond is also hedging its bet on tablets by investing in the Nook made by Barnes & Noble. You know the old saying: "If you can't beat 'em, buy their competitors."

Worth reading: The New Yorker details the man who started the hacker wars.

Facetime: Facebook's imminent IPO has been pushed back a bit, in part because of the Instagram acquisition (which spawned one of the best new Twitter feeds) and the deal with Microsoft for 650 AOL patents (free games will now be delivered to you on CDs). But one can't help but wonder if it's all much ado about very little (except a lot of money):

No more Mr. Nice Guy: Oh, wait. Nobody has ever accused the RIAA of being nice guys, because they do things like getting the federal government to seize a music site for being tied to the hosting of songs illegally -- except that the site had been given the songs by one of the RIAA's member music companies. Expect a big lawsuit.

The long and winding (and expensive for someone) road: The highlights from the last couple of weeks in Oracle vs. Google:

And just to muddy the waters a tiny bit more, the European Union's highest court has decided that programming languages can't be copyrighted.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch: Not only is Google on the verge of being named in another monster lawsuit -- this one from the Justice Department's antitrust unit -- but South Korea and Argentina are piling on. Google Drive launched to some less than enthusiastic reviews and the somewhat predictable Twitter outrage.

Lending a whole new meaning to "an arm and a leg": Bespoke's 3-D printed prosthetics.

In requiem: Fig Newtons. Sorry, but "Newtons" doesn't remind me of Isaac or a 7th grade science class; it reminds me of what happens when an iconic tech company with a visionary founder hires a soft-drink company president. Also, Windows Live and Goober.

Only a matter of time: Eugene Kapersky -- yes, that one -- gave an interview a few weeks back in which he said that Apple is "ten years behind Microsoft" when it comes to security (and he appears to be right). In a related item, Sophos has -- for all the uninitiated -- a way to check for the infection that added 600,000 Macs to a botnet a couple of weeks ago.

Standing up to The Man: Hyman Strachman of Long Island, New York, copies first run DVDs. By the thousands.

Four words for the Yahoo board of directors: Next time, use Google: Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson has incorrect information on his resume.

I wonder if my brother can sneak me in: So, the next installation of the Star Trek movies is being filmed, in part, at Lawrence Livermore Lab (yes, ne worked on the NIF). No wonder he never talks much about what he's working on.

Last of the big spenders: Google paid the $25,000 fine imposed by the FCC for obstructing its investigation into the collection of information with Street View. That's about 3/4 of a second's worth of gross revenues. Oh, and of course, it wasn't authorized by anyone who is well-known enough to take the fall -- but it's a good bet that someone will -- probably "Engineer Doe".

Pot calling the kettle "black" (redux): Still, it might be worthwhile (if you're one of the people who buys advertising from search engine companies) to take a look at the top five online marketing frauds (don't say it, Jason...)

Signs of the Apocalypse: MySpace lives. Cracked and broken China. Amsterdam is going to pot. Apple is going to the Dark Side.


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My First Million: Reaching the 1,000,000 point level in April were feridun, basicinstinct, paquicuba and tliotta. Thanks for all your great work!


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